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Austin Vert's Power Mirror Tutorial - Part 4


Hi and welcome to part 4. We will now construct the drivers side mirror motor bracket. These brackets are a main part or the heart of my invention. It took me a long time and a great deal of research to come up with my final designs. What it's all about, and what is very important is the way the motors are positioned and placed in the Mustang mirror bodies themselves. Measurements and alighnments are crucial to carry it all off as gaps and tolerances are small. So the brackets play an important part for the end result. Also, the brackets must be strong and robust by design, yet functional and practical as well. I chose Aluminium for my bracket components, as the material is very light yet strong, and is very corrosion resistant in it's raw state. It is also an easy metal to work with and fashion etc. Accuracy counts here - so make it happen.


So getting started, you will have received my plans or drawings via E mail.These drawings should print out in real life actual size. First do a print out of one page, and with ruler, check to see if my measurements provided on the drawings match up accurately with what the ruler says as well. TIP: When you do the printout, make sure your printer settings are set to printing out the page 100% and not shrunk down in any way. If you're not happy with the accuracy, and you have tried every trick you know to get it right, then Email me again with your address, and i will go to the trouble and expense of printing out my original plans, and posting them over to you my normal mail. If you are happy, then the next step is to get your sharp scissors and neatly and as carefully as possible, cut out my bracket shapes, as to use these cutouts as templates. TIP: WHEN PRINTING OUT, TRY TO USE THE THICKEST PAPER YOU HAVE. This makes it more easy to draw around your cut out templates.

The drivers side bracket consists of two pieces - the foot plate and the upright or upper main section.
You will start by placing your paper template of the foot plate on the 50mm / 2 inch wide x 3mm / 1/8 inch thick aluminium flat bar strip. Carefully mark out around the template with your permanent fine marker pen. TIP: Get a little bit of masking tape to hold the paper template down on the metal strip.Now with center drift punch, mark out where the center of the holes are and punch a point mark in the metal.These tiny point holes will provide a starting point for your steel drill bits and help prevent the bits from wandering. When you do this procedure, you can also include marking out your upper bracket piece as well with paper template. Next is to cut up the flat plate as per your markings. The secret is to cut off the marked lines a little, as you can sand down the metal to the marked lines accurately a little later on.Make your cuts, and then go to the 40 grit dry sandpaper machine attachment on your bench grinder. The metal will sand down quickly and easily, so be careful and accurate with this process. Sand down to the marked lines. TIP: BE WARNED, THE METAL HEATS UP VERY HOT QUICKLY. Try using leather gloves to protect your hands from burns. Smooth off your edges with the wire wheel on your bench grinder for a good fast result. You could also do things a harder way and use 40 grit paper with a sanding block or a metal flat bastard file to take down the excees metal. That works too, but is a much harder and slower process. Once your two pieces have been cut and shaped and edge finished off, use a 9mm / 3/8 drill bit to drill the three holes in the footplate.Be accurate - it matters.TIP: It always helps to start off by selecting a smaller dia bit first, and then move up to the bigger bit next. That helps for drilling accuracy. Use a drill press if you want here. You will notice that the front and back holes a slightly elongated. Use your rat tail file to carefully elongate these two holes to spec. Now place paper template over the top bracket and center punch the three holes to be drilled out on the front of the bracket. Using a 10mm b / 3/8 bit, drill out the three holes. Don't do anything about the remaining two holes at the back of the bracket yet. Leave them alone for now.You will have marked out the fold line on your top bracket piece as per the template drawing. Now go to your engineer's vice, and place the bracket in the vice right on the fold line. With club hammer and a block of scrap timber gently bend and fold the bracket towards you till in comes down to a right angle on the vice.In my drawings, i have provided an angle guide for the correct angle the mirror bracket should be bent back to. Set your sliding beval to this angle dead on, and use the beval as a guide to set the bracket angle correctly back.This procedure is a trial and error one, as you will place your bracket in the vice and gently tap the bracket down till you get to the correct angle. Don't be rough here, as a little tapping goes a long way.Check with you beval for final angle accuracy
You are now ready to glue the footplate to the upper bracket. I chose to use Loctite brand epoxy 5 minute Araldite. This glue is just a fantastic product. It is very strong bonding and has good filling qualities as well. It's the perfect product to use for this project. After you do a glue job, wait about 20minutes or so, and you're ready to move on with your job - it's that good.Remember, when ever you use the glue you must sand down both surfaces to be glued with 80 grit dry sand paper. This helps to make a great glueing bond. Before glueing, line up the footplate with the bracket to make sure the cut out shapes are close to the same. If you're happy, then mix up your glue very well, apply to both surfaces, line up and position plates, then clamp together using a spring or G clamp. Wipe any excess glue off the job. REMEMBER, YOU HAVE A 3 MINUTE WINDOW OF OPERATION. Once the glue starts going off - that's it. After about half an hour,drill out the remaining two undrilled holes in the top bracket. You will of course use the already drilled out two holes on the footplate as a drill guide for this. IMPORTANT UPDATE: I have just described above the details and method for marking and drilling out the footplate holes.. However, you will notice that in my photos i took a different approach by drilling out the upper bracket holes first, and the footplate holes last.To be honest, you could approach this matter either way and get good results. But i think what i have written above is a slightly better approach to take.Sorry about that little technical hick up.

Finish off by doing any detail work needed. For example, you may find that the shape of the footplate does not marry up perfectly with the upper bracket shape it was glued to. If this is the case, then gently sand down both edge surfaces to mach perfectly.Make sure your edges are nice and smooth too. This bracket is now ready for testing. But first, we need to make another component for this bracket assembly. It's called a locking plate,and is made out of gal steel.I am using these steel gal locking plates for my two mirrors left and right, for the back lock downs only. The reason why, is if i was to use a normal nut for the bolts used, i found that you cant get a tool into the back of the mirrors when you are installing the brackets themselves.There is no access here. So i invented specially designed locking plates to get around this problem. These steel locking plates are made from gal steel flat plate 50mm / 2 inches wide x 5mm / 3/16 thick . You will see my template drawings for the locking plates. Choose the drivers side plate and mark out template on the steel.Cut the steel to shape using a hacksaw or jigsaw, and sand down to lines accurately.Now using your template and center drift punch mark a hole to be drilled out for your tapped thread.Drilling procedure is important here for threads. My threaded holes will be taking an M5 metric bolt or an 3/16 inch bolt. You MUST go down one size for your drill bit selection. So your drill bits used will be 4.5 metric and 5/32 imperial. Drill the hole out, and then using a 5mm or a 3/16 Tap, tap a thread into the hole you have just drilled. Use cutting oil here for tapping threads.When finished, check out bolt thread compatability. These tapped threads are a fine pitched thread too, not course. Once you're happy with the locking bracket, you are now ready to carry out some basic tests to see how accurate your bracket assembly went.

As i said before, positioning and alighnment are important for the mirror motors. In my designs, i have allowed for slop and adjustment of my bracket and motor mounting components to allow for any final adjustments that might be needed.In one of my pics, you will see the line up sequence for your nuts, bolts and particular washers to be used.The pic shows the use of a 25mm bolt with an extra nut attached. you could go this way, or just use a 20mm long bolt instead. So now, install and assemble the bracket into the mirror housing. Use a 30mm / 1 3/16 inch bolt for the back and a 20mm / 7/8 inch bolt for the front. Don't tighten down nuts at this stage. Now check for slop and adjustment. You should be able to move the bracket a little to the left and right, as well as to the front and back within the mirror body or housing. Also, check to see if the center hole for the wiring lines up fairly well too.This adjustment in the bracket will play an important part in your final adjustment setup at the end of the project.Now nip up the bolts and nuts so there is a little grab on the bracket, but you can still move it around using a little force. Get yourself a plastic cap off a rattle can of paint. This cap will be used as your tester tool.When the motor sits on the face of the upper bracket, it must have a correct alighnment.
This alighnment has to do with the vertical and the horizontal, or up and down and left to right so to speak. Place the plastic cap on the bracket face, and hold the mirror up to sight or line up. You will be looking for vertical alighnment first. The protruding edge of the plastic cap must run parallel with the vertical front edge of the mirror body. If it does not, then the back angle of the upper bracket needs to be adjusted either bent a little inwards or outwards.You can do this by hand without taking the bracket off and on if you want. I took my bracket off and back on again myself. The second alighnment is looking down along the top front edge of the mirror body. In this case, the protruding plastic cap must again be parallel with the front edge of the body. To adjust or correct this if not right, you should be able to move the bracket assembly to the left or right to bring the bracket into correct alighnment with the body.(See my pics) If you find that there is not enough slop or play to get it right, then you will have to remove the bracket, an enlarge the front and back bracket footplate holes with a rat tail file to provide more adjustment play. Lastly, the in and out alighnment of the bracket is important as well. You should be able to move the bracket in a little and out a little in the housing.With steel rule, measure from the face of the upper bracket to the front edge of the mirror body on the body floor. You should end up or settle for a 41 mm / 1 5/8 inch distance.(See my pic) Also, with marker pen, trace an outline around the floor plate. This will aid you when you come back later to do the second alighnment test.

Once you are happy with the alighnments and feel that they are correct, then your done. Congratulations, as you have now finished making your first bracket. In my next tutorial, we will build the passengers side bracket. This bracket will be of a different design in some respects.

Many thanks,




TEST EXAMPLE OF MY BRACKET DRAWINGS. (Not to be used for your project)




[Image: 1z21rv4.png]


"If I were you...... I´d rather be me."  Tongue

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